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BAT WEEK OCTOBER 24 - 31, 2021

Bat Week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature

BAT WEEK IS AN ANNUAL, INTERNATIONAL CELEBRATION OF THE ROLE OF BATS IN NATURE

Batty Recipes

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Easy Zucchini

This is an easy zucchini recipe with Mediterranean roots - all you need is zucchini, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic.

 

Easy Zucchini

This is an easy zucchini recipe with Mediterranean roots - all you need is zucchini, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic.

 

Easy Zucchini

This is an easy zucchini recipe with Mediterranean roots - all you need is zucchini, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic.

 

Easy Zucchini

This is an easy zucchini recipe with Mediterranean roots - all you need is zucchini, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic.

 

Easy Zucchini

This is an easy zucchini recipe with Mediterranean roots - all you need is zucchini, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic.

 

Bats and Food

unique-beautiful

A Gambian epauletted fruit bat,
Epomophorus gambianus, takes off with a fig.
Photo: Merlin D. Tuttle / Bat Conservation International

Open the kitchen cupboard and what do you see? Maybe a bottle of tequila, some yummy fig jam or maybe a huge block of chocolate. Have you every wondered how these and many other food items may be connected to bats?

Believe it or not, many of the foods found on grocery store shelves and in kitchen pantries are products of bats’ interactions with nature. Three interactions, to be specific.

Pollination: Take the bottle of tequila, for example. Where does that distilled beverage hail from anyway? Most is made in Mexico, where the lesser-long nosed bat serves as bee substitutes, slurping up the sweet nectar from wild agave. In the process, pollen sticks to their bristled neck and is transferred to the next flower, sometimes many miles away.

Seed dispersal: And what about that fig jam? Before spreading it on your toast consider this: without bats, forests might be bereft of figs trees. There are more than 800 species of figs worldwide and bats play a large role in their dispersal. When bats munch on the juicy chunks of figs they spit out their seeds, or just let them leave the exit the body the natural way. In any case, their deposits often land in barren forests that could use the introduction of new seedlings.

And then there’s the chocolate: The cacao. Everyone loves it—including pests. Fortunately for devoted chocolate fans, there are bats. Some bats can eat half their weight in bugs, and by doing so decrease the need for harsh pesticides, and increase crop yields all around.

So the jury is out. Bats are our new best friend.

Especially when it comes to food.

More than 20 of our favorite foods have connections to bats through seed dispersal, pollination and pest control. Check out the Bat Week Cookbook to discover delicious recipes using ingredients made possible by bats.

Faces of Bat Week

Townsend big-eared bat

Townsend's big-eared bats are a charismatic species with marvelously large ears and prominent, bilateral nose lumps.

Florida bonneted bat

The Florida bonneted bat is found nowhere in the world but South Florida.

Indiana bat

Indiana bats are a small insect-eating bats that live in North America.

Northern long-eared bat

The northern long-eared bat is a species of bat native to North America. There are no recognized subspecies.

Mexican long-nosed bat

The Mexican long-nosed bat is federally endangered and relies on nectar from agave to make long migrations through Mexico and the southwest United States.